We answer some of your frequently asked questions.
Why are we calling for a bridge?
Because in July 2020 a cyclist was killed here. The A281 crossing has long been identified as unsafe and the Coroner’s report into the death called on West Sussex County Council to take action to prevent further deaths at the crossing. The Downs Link is effectively severed at this point and many people are afraid to use it because of this.
Won’t a bridge be too expensive?
Not compared to the thousands spent resurfacing the Downs Link and the millions on regional A-road improvements recently. It is cost effective to save lives.
What about a Pegasus crossing?
This was considered in 2019 and rejected on the grounds of the unavailability of a power source at the crossing and the speed of the traffic on the road. A Pegasus crossing is a signalised crossing that caters for pedestrians and horse riders (and can be combined with a Toucan crossing for cyclists).
What type of bridge would be built?
A lightweight design suitable for carrying walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
How high above the road will a bridge have to be?
The standard clearance required over the whole width of a road is 5.8m. The embankments from the old railway bridge remain in place.
What benefits will a bridge bring to the area?
Many and varied! A bridge will provide a safe village link for local communities (with the option to form local circular routes) as well as a safe crossing for longer distance travellers. Outdoor exercise boosts health and fitness and mental wellbeing.
How will a bridge be funded?
Funding is available from a variety of different sources both nationally and locally, provided West Sussex County Council makes a good case for it.
Who owns the Downs Link?
The Downs Link is jointly owned by West Sussex County Council (the section from Rudgwick to Shoreham) and Surrey County Council (the section from Cranleigh to Guildford).
If a bridge is built will access to Bowcroft Lane be maintained?
Yes. Whilst we obviously don’t know the final layout of the bridge, the draft plans commissioned by WSCC as part of the feasibility study clearly indicate “connection to the existing bridleway 1395″ (Bowcroft Lane).
Are there examples of similar bridges elsewhere?
A good example is the South Downs Way bridleway bridge over the A26 in East Sussex.